Low vitamin D levels linked to headaches in men

Findings suggest that further research is needed into whether vitamin D could be effective against headaches.

Light micrograph of vitamin D crystals

Some evidence has linked headache prevalence to increasing latitude, indicating a possible role for vitamin D exposure. But there are limited data to support this hypothesis.

Therefore a team of researchers analysed baseline data on 2,601 men who enrolled in a Finnish heart disease study between 1984 and 1989.

They found that the mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was 38.3nmol/L among the 250 (9.6%) men who reported frequent headache (weekly or daily in the previous year), compared with 43.9nmol/L in the rest of the cohort. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the lowest quartile (<28.9nmol/L) was associated with a 116% increased odds of frequent headache versus the highest quartile (>55.0nmol/L).

Writing in Scientific Reports
(online, 3 January 2017), the team says that further research should explore whether vitamin D supplementation could be effective for the treatment or prevention of headaches.


[1] Virtanen JK, Giniatullin R, Mäntyselkä P et al. Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with higher risk of frequent headache in middle-aged and older men. Scientific Reports 2017;7:39697; doi: 10.1038/srep39697

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, February 2017, Vol 9, No 2;9(2):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2017.20202258

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